We are all constantly reminded right from nursery school of how important hard work is for life. And hard work has to continue during all phases of personal and professional life. We reckon that success, however we define it, is dependent upon toil, perseverance and hard work.
In recent years an alternative to this concept, a new coinage of ‘smart work’ has emerged. What escapes most is the fact that even for working smart, hard work is a requirement too. At the end of it all, it is perseverance, toil, hard work, and consistency that matters.
Since perseverance is a journey, it is not a single step or rushed sprint that will get any artisanal and small scale miner towards his or her goals. It is always the slow and steady that wins the race.
Honey lies in every flower, but it takes a bee to find the one laden with it to suck it out. Akin to this is the perseverance of a miner who goes through periods of gruelling challenges. In the battle between the river and the rock, the river will always win. Not through strength but through persistence.
Perseverance requires patience. Hard work will yield success. In the meantime, optimism shouldn’t be lost. No bad harvest in a season should prevent us from fresh sowing.
In today’s instalment of Celebrating Women in Mining, Great Dyke News 24 reporter Jeoffrey Ncube (JN) speaks to Susan Dumbura (SD) a woman miner from Manicaland to explain how she managed to persevere through her mining journey after the death of her husband.
JN: Can you tell us who is Susan Dumbura?
SD: My name is Susan Chimbunde Dumbura. I am a small scale miner in Penhalonga and Odzi. I am also doing custom milling in Penhalonga.
l started mining in 2004 when l got married to the late Garai Dumbura. It wasn’t easy as we thought. We spent a lot of money but nothing was fruitful. My husband nearly sold the claims but because l was interested in mining l asked him to be patient. The worst part was after the birth of my first born and things were very tight by then.
It was around mid-May 2008 when l had a dream of a stream full of breams of all sizes. That dream came true as we mined and produced lots of gold and with that produce we hired machinery and started open cast mining and that’s when things changed.
In 2012 we bought land from the Ministry of Lands for a milling centre. In 2013 we managed to buy our own excavator, a 22PC Komatsu from South Africa.
In 2014 that’s when l started enjoying profits, buying luxurious cars, trucks, stands among other properties and that’s when l realised that perseverance pays in mining. You will get whatever you want as long as you give it some time and work hard.
Unfortunately my husband passed away in 2019. That’s when l lost my mine to greedy relatives and l was left with the milling plant only. But because my mom taught me to believe in myself like a man though l am a lady, so l never gave up my dream. l went on and registered as a custom miller.
Soon after l registered as a custom miller, l then managed to buy 2 blocks at Odzi and 2 blocks in Penhalonga. I worked so hard and raised more money to buy a 3 tonne ball mill .Now l am doing custom milling as well as mining gold and things have changed. I am now enjoying the fruits of hard work.
JN: What are some of the challenges you face as a woman miner?
One of the challenges l face as a woman is gender discrimination, but l put God first because l know with him nothing is impossible.
In mining there are challenges whereby without equipment you won’t have fruitful mining. Secondly the major challenge we have is exploration, we spent many years pumping out money looking for gold.
How do you balance between your mining business and family?
I thank God always. l am able to balance my duties as a woman. I wake up early. I do some house chores every day and after that l go to work. l spend the whole day being occupied. My belief is that every minute is money so l don’t have time to waste.
I would like to thank my personal driver. This is the 8th year with him. He is like a brother to me, sometimes he is the one who helps me run my business. He will be at the mill or at the mine. So that’s how l balance between being a mother, business woman and miner.
Despite all the challenges l have mentioned before, l realised that employment creation is the key to success so at the milling plant l have 28 workers and at my claims l have 35 workers for now because of the heavy rains experienced this year.
What’s your advice to women who want to venture into mining?
To women who want to venture in mining you, are welcome. Your money is in the land not anywhere else.
Mining is a business. Mining needs patience and patience pays. Mining is not to just have a claim and start mining. You need knowledge and perseverance. How do you get knowledge? Go for it, go to experienced people and ask them how they managed to get to those levels. In mining, it doesn’t matter how educated you are, it only needs you to socialise with those who have the practical experience .Mining is practical not theoretical.
As women we can do it, don’t hesitate to venture into mining.Where there is sweat there is honey.